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Eating cow manure

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#1 cadi


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Posted 02 October 2009 - 08:39 AM

My husband's 14 week old pup wants to eat cow manure the whole time he is choring. He takes her out to chore to get her used to things, no stock working or anything like that, just getting her used to the routine. What's a good way to limit her without making it seem like chores are no fun. She is such a "want to please you" type of dog and we don't want to damage that in any way. Am I wrong in thinking, that when he does take her to stock that she will be more interested in working than eating manure? We have other non-working border collies, so its not been a real big problem before since they weren't around the cattle. Any idea's out there? I have been "lurking" for years and have found an abundance of information on this board:) Thank You!

#2 Sue R

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 08:49 AM

Eating manure (of all sorts) is a common puppy trait. A little will do no harm (unless the manure has something in it that might be a problem, like wormer from treating the livestock). Too much manure can upset a pup/dog's system and has no positive benefit.

I would suggest that he limit her to just a little (as you can see, it doesn't bother me that she "enjoys" a snack - it's full of B vitamins and fiber if it's cow or sheep manure). To do so, he might want to keep her on a lead tied to his belt so that she's not stuffing herself while he's working. He could also tether her in a safe location nearby for short periods of time. There is nothing wrong with a pup her age learning to be restrained.

Most pups grow out of "poop-obsession" with some age, and some dogs never do. Normally, with a dog working or training, manure-eating does not enter into the picture unless the dog is feeling too much pressure or stress, and it's a way to release that.

She's a pup and enjoy her! At her age, walk-outs might be better than genuine chore times. When she's older, make sure you get good quality training to help you develop her potential as a stockdog. She doesn't have to be out to chores all the time if he can't watch or restrain her to avoid over-indulging at this age.

Best wishes!
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#3 juliepoudrier


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Posted 02 October 2009 - 09:06 AM

Sue has given very good advice. My 8.5-week old spends his time trying to find whatever poop he can--chicken, duck, sheep, cat--you get the picture. Since I can't really stop him without correcting constantly, I just try to distract when I can. Your pup is pretty young and could actually do just as well staying at home a while longer.


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#4 bcnewe2


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Posted 02 October 2009 - 09:33 AM

Not any help but what I've noticed my dogs or dogs I've seen with poo eating tendencies, like poo that is grass fed poo, and when fed dry hay the poo is not so tastey. Even my old dogs will go for fresh green grass cow poo and will pass (maybe show a bit of interest) on the hay poo.
As your poo pup grows :rolleyes:, I think you'll gain the ability to call her off with other interesting things.
I'd rather have a poo eater than a poo roller, I happen to have both!
I can't say anything about duck or chicken poo, all my dogs think that is a wonderful treat any time or place! I just call them off cause we've past the puppy stage and they do have call offs. When puppies, I try my darndest to keep them out of chicken or duck poo just for the yucky kissing factor.
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